Posted by: A Part of the Solution | June 19, 2010

Ironing, the Undeniable Truth

The first line of one of my best Craigslist dating ads read thusly, “I don’t give a damn about the dust bunnies.” I do have a flair for the dramatic, and a confirmed penchant for ignoring/avoiding certain realities that impinge on my ideal version of daily life. A lot has changed in the four years since I wrote those words.

In fact, I’m a born again housekeeper. I sweep when no one’s coming over. I clean the shower stall just because I’m in it, not because it ‘needs’ it. I tackle the hood on the stove, the oven and the cabinets regularly. And only because they’re next on my rotation. I don’t just vacuum; I dust.

I have to say, it’s more fun when you get to make most of your own cleaning products. It’s more interesting when you’re working towards the future when nice interns who want a career in the green hospitality industry are there for the summer/autumn season and want to know all there is about the best method, the right product and the appropriate periodicity. It’s more engaging when you know you can bring ‘the perfect weekend’ to someone with high standards by the simple expedient of planning ahead.

Of all these new delights, I would be remiss if I left my most recent secret vice out of the discussion. I love to iron. I get a distinct kick from making what was crumpled and unappealing into an object which folds cleanly and looks so fresh on a bed. And I love having properly ironed pillowcases and sheets (100% organic cotton) with which to make the beds.

Anyone who’s stayed here will tell you I make the most of those linens. It’s amazing what a good hospital corner can do for your reputation as a housekeeper. It’s nothing short of miraculous to discover how well everybody responds to a smoothly turned top-sheet and a seamlessly sleek pillowcase.

And the ironing, not just for the results. I love the down-time it represents in a schedule filled with the heavier, grittier side of housekeeping (no matter how frequently you clean that toilet, you’re just not doing it unless you’re doing it with conviction). And a schedule filled with chores like working 8 wheelbarrows full of fresh manure into a bed so that it can rot. Frankly, the ironing is a downright holiday some evenings.

I turn on the TV to mindless cooking, home decorating, travelling shows and let my imagination run wild. All the while, I’m stocking up on lovely linens.  And I even get the bonus points for being in work mode after the farm manager packs it in for the day. Is this the best of both worlds, or what?

Really, the science of housekeeping is interesting. The hospitality industry, at the micro-level, is so much more than I’d dared hope. And the opportunity to stand through a marathon of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives–while acting in a productive and ultimately virtuous manner is almost too much icing on my cake. Who’d a thunk it!



  1. “Your words are strange to me”

    • Tell me about it. Did I think I’d be putting words I knew in that order with those meanings a year ago? Probably not.

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